Mediation Works for Owners
Oliver is the majority owner of a Big Four sports franchise. He is known for fairness and his commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He ensures his scouts search for top talent on teams around the world and beyond the traditional, elitist institutions. He is a firm but fair leader who can’t let a discrimination claim destroy his personal brand. He suggests mediation to a player who has alleged his coach is giving him less playing time because he spoke up when the coach used a racial slur.
- Mediation can keep the matter confidential.
- It is quicker than waiting for the player and coach to work it out on their own, which might not happen before they pollute the team environment for others.
- It can improve communication between the player and coach, who will preferably learn to work together and win games.
Mediation Works for Investors
Izzy is an investor in a business he is excited to be a part of, but mostly because of the income potential. This venture is intended to fund his children’s college degrees someday, if not a few more toys and vacations for himself. He knows an employment claim costs big bucks in attorneys’ fees alone. He’s also seen what can happen to sales if the media takes the plaintiff’s side. He contacts a mediator early in the conflict.
- Mediation is often far less expensive than litigation.
- It can keep outside parties from influencing the process.
- It can reveal other issues that need to be resolved and include solutions to them in any settlement agreement reached.
Mediation Works for Leaders
Charlie is the head coach of a winning sports program. He has a daughter in college, and he won’t let his players get near her. He hears their locker room talk and knows they don’t respect young women the way he wants his daughter’s partners to respect her. He is embarrassed that he remembers being like them. Yet he has also seen them stalked, falsely accused of misconduct, and hazed in ways bordering on abuse. He asks the Title IX Coordinator about informal resolution through mediation.
- Mediation can be used before a complaint is filed.
- It can bring multiple parties together to clear the air and transform relationships.
- It can teach parties how to approach conflict resolution with a results focus.
Far too often, parties keep putting off resolution because they don’t feel skilled to discuss the conflicts in productive ways. That’s where the mediator comes in. As a neutral facilitator, the mediator listens for the interests that lie beneath the surface. What expectations haven’t been met? Could they still be met? What do the parties need right now to feel they can trust each other and work together?
Often the issues raised in the litigation are not the only issues in the relationship between the parties. They might not even be the ones the parties really want to address, but they choose the legal process because that’s the only way they think they can be heard. Then, they’re surprised to learn that they will primarily be heard through their attorneys, and someone else is going to tell them what they deserve. They don’t have as much say as they would like because the courts aren’t designed to consider the less tangible causes of disputes.
Here are some common underlying interests the courts usually aren’t equipped to address:
- The player complaining about the coach on Oliver’s team feels unappreciated by his coach and excluded by his teammates
- The person complaining about Izzy’s investment business is also trying to secure a future for her children and has forgotten the business is run by people like her
- Charlie’s players are complaining about their losses, including the loss of celebrity they had on prior teams
Mediation can address most identifiable issues and perceptions of the parties–before there is a lawsuit, as well as after one has been filed. It also creates possibilities for balance in disputes and in relationships. It puts the power back in the hands of the parties that want it and are willing to share it.
DISCLAIMER: This post is intended only as general information. It is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific legal advice, please contact an attorney to discuss your circumstances.